The Mangrove Killifish
The Mangrove Killifish
Disentangling the distribution of the mangrove amphibious killifish, amazing and tiny estuarine fish that live in magrove forest pools

Latest Expeditions

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Our project seeks to understand relationships between black bears and humans on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada towards promoting co-existence between people and our wild neighbors.
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I will be travelling across the Pacific Ocean on SV Paradigme 2 collecting observations for INaturalist. As I sail from California to Hawaï and French Polynesia, I will be taking pictures of wildlife encountered along the journey.
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Bhutan is a carbon negative country that is working towards Gross National Happiness. A large part of Bhutan is forested and over a 3rd is conservation land. I will be teaching in Bhutan and visiting to learn more.
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Marine Conservation Philippines, Siit Arboretum, Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental 6218, Philippines, Mar 1 2015 to Jan 26 2019
Marine Conservation in the Philippines
Using science to understand how local and global pressures affect marine ecosystems, we empower, engage, and build local and national capacity to reduce and adapt to pressures, aiming for a sustainable future for the Philippine people

Recent Observations

Podcast Episode I recorded an episode with the Geopolitics & Ecology of Himalayan Water Project, an eARThumanities initiative through NYU Abu Dhabi, on water insecurity and social tensions in Kathmandu Valley. This initiative seeks to take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding water problems, especially in relation to climate change, in the Himalayan region. Listen to the full episode here!
The Arches (Backlog: September 5th, 2019) I have been diving around Los Arcos for about a year now enjoying my personal discovery affair of its varied underwater topography and marine life. I have learnt to appreciate how diverse a dive site Los Arcos is. There is the sandy bottom of Las Lajas with its Longtail stingrays and sea turtles, El Bajo del Cristo pinnacle with Orange cup coral colonies and large schools of fish, the sheer wall of the Devil’s Jaw with its Giant manta rays roving over the abyss and deep sea coral gardens. Each area is so different from the other. Today, thanks to graciously calm seas I will get an opportunity to explore something new. Namely, the arches that gave the site its name. Punched through the islets by ages of water erosion, these tunnels with vaulted ceilings rise above and descend below the surface. They certainly are one of the defining and visually most impressive features of the site. To explore them safely though, you need the weather to do its part. We arrive at the edge of an area called the Aquarium on the northern side of the main islet. The water is only about 5m (15 feet) deep here and full of tropical fish. Many species tend to congregate just below the surface, since boat traffic is banned from this area. They provide a fantastic spectacle to swimmers and snorkelers. They also patrol the perimeter around anchored boats and won’t pass the opportunity to snatch your lunch if it should fall overboard. A few moments after diving in, the fairly featureless bottom meets us and we swim towards the looming shadow of the islet wall. Before we manage to get closer though, we run into several large blocks covered with Leptogorgia and Tubastraea corals. These must be sections of the main mass dislodged long ago, I suppose. I look them over and realize I can spend my tankful of air just exploring one of them. No matter how attractive they look though, this is not my plan today. I am being drawn to the shadows beyond, deeper into the tunnel with its dark blue ceiling. I swim on. The sea is exceptionally calm and yet the surge pushing water through the channel is clearly perceptible. I tuck in my knees and elbows. Both walls and the bottom seem to have the texture of a cheese grater. Most color fades away and I switch on my lights. As I tilt my rig upward to survey the higher sections of the wall some 30 Mexican lookdowns (Selene brevoortii) shoot past. Their silver sides bounce light back at me like mirrors. I track them with my wide angle and manage a single shot. They are quite far, but still reflect enough light to stand against the dark backdrop (Photo 1). They have no patience for my flashy tricks though and disappear. I swim on. Only a few meters ahead a dark shape stands out against the light coming from the other side of the tunnel. As I get closer I notice a large school of fish milling at the foot of this small pinnacle. I know soldierfish and squirrelfish like to monopolize such spots. I am not wrong. As I get closer, my light startles a big school of Tinsel squirrelfish (Sargocentron suborbitalis). I judge the strength of the surge and decide to take a chance. I stop and half knee, half lie on the seafloor. In a few moments the fish calm down and I can take a few shots with the tunnel opening in the background wrapping around the scene in front of me. (Photo 2) I spend the rest of my dive passing through the tunnel back and forth in company of several Long-spine porcupinefish (Diodon holocanthus), who float around me like small deflated balloons. Once I catch sight of a Spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari), but it moves too fast for a shot. On my next visit I need to inspect more closely the large boulders at the tunnel’s entry, preferably with a macro lens.
Using our 'eyes of the ocean', Moby, our Trident mini-ROV, we observe a multitude of color and texture of different life forms. Identified by its deep red white-dotted column and red-brown-green tentacles, the white-spotted rose anemone can be seen both opened and closed. Waiting for a meal to swim by or drop in, this creature will stun its prey (plankton, small fish, an urchin or sea star that falls in to its mouth), using the stinging cells, called nematocysts, located in its tentacles. Also encountered on this expedition, bat stars, leather stars, sea urchins, coralline algae, sponges, and kelp. While this may look like a vast urchin barren, it is surrounded by kelp and seaweed on all sides, and sea otters are no stranger to this spot! If you can, slow down this footage, to look for signs of ecological intrigue; empty urchin shells, puffed up sea stars, and a variety of invertebrate life! Point Lobos State Marine Reserve is one 124 Marine Protected Areas along the California coast. MPAs contribute to healthier, more resilient ocean ecosystems that can better withstand a wide range of impacts such as pollution and climate change. By protecting entire ecosystems rather than focusing on a single species, MPAs are powerful tools for conserving and restoring ocean biodiversity, and protecting cultural resources, while allowing certain activities such as marine recreation and research. There is a global body of scientific evidence about the effectiveness of marine protected areas and reserves to restore marine ecosystems (http://www.piscoweb.org).

The S.E.E. Initiative

Empowering people to explore and protect the ocean